NC Democratic Party Chair candidate live blog: David Parker

Tonight we welcome David Parker to BlueNC for a live blogging session starting at 9 pm. David is a candidate for chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Feel free to join in the conversation with whatever comments and questions you might have. Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous discussion threads about party leadership, which you can find on various other threads.

We have only an hour with David, which prompts this request: If you've already asked a question elsewhere, and it has already been answered, please don't ask it again. As time permits, I will be digging up earlier questions that may have gone unaddressed and post them here. That said, David is under no obligation to respond to any particular question, of course.

Thank you again for joining us, David. And thank you also for your long-standing commitment to public service. Please feel free to come by over the next few days to address any hanging issues as you see fit.


PS For those who may not have seen Mr. Parker's video, here's a replay. You can also visit is campaign site, located here.


Some start thoughters

  • How would you have responded to this week's Larry Brown fiasco if you had been chair?
  • What steps will you take to blunt the impact of Art Pope on our elections?
  • How big is the army of lawyers you'll have to take legal action against Republican shenanigans?

Rep. Brown is, like the

Rep. Brown is, like the Americans he vilifies so ardently, a child of God. We have just been reminded by our President that the measure of our lives is how well we have loved and how we have made the lives of other people better. People's orientation is a gift from God. I hope that Rep. Brown's Party will properly condemn his hate-speech by lsitenting to the better angels of their nature.

Art Pope has every right to spend his money from his stores as he pleases - and now with the egregiously anti-democratic Citizens United decision, he does not even have to report his contributions. There are individuals who share your concern about Pope's network of think tanks, media outlets, and political contributions that are mounting efforts to raise at least as much money as Pope to counter him. The GOP victory and their embrace of the John Locke Foundation's platform has woken a lot of good folks up from their slumber. As a Party, we have to sound ideas that people can embrace -- ideas that show the Pope agenda, inspired in part by his Koch Brother friends, to be opposed to many of teh values we Nroth Carolinaians hold dear. I would go into details, but need to get to other questions.

There are experienced lawyers ready to go on the redistricting front. I have won two election law suits involving districts and residency, including one that successfully removed a sitting Republican Superior Court Judge from the bench for elections misdeeds and know a fair amount about election law. There are experts, though, that will represent us ably - I have tried over 4,000 cases in my 30 year career as a Trial Lawyer (and been a member of the Trial Lawyers during that time, serving on their PAC Board in the 90's - good folks and long time freinds), but know when to send a case to the experts -- I certainly ahve the savvy to monitor their work. It is fairly clear from preliminary work done by SEC Members such as Peter Alfredson, the Teen Dems President who has endorsed me, showing possible redistricting that may fail court tests if done by the GOP.

Sorry this takes so long and has typos I am sure -- trying to hurry and not doing cut and paste from Word with spell-checking -- forgive my errors!

David Parker

Glad to hear about the lawyers

and eager to see them hard at work.

I can also see you're savoring the glow of Obama's speech, which is an admirable thing when it comes to unity and the common good. I sure hope there's a bulldog lurking inside you, though, because that is what it's going to take to push back, in my opinion. Of course, I'm just a blogger who has lost more races than I've won, so feel free to discount my hard-edged opinion.

Humor and pointed truths

Humor and pointed truths frequently work better with most folks than mere vitriol. Think Harry Truman.

Having been intervieweed by FoxNews on national TV twice (and lived to tell the story), I can tell you that even they relent with a little Southern humor! Of course, sometimes direct assault is the quickest way to victory. I've been a divorce lawyer for a fair amount of my career, representing about 80% women - I know how to fight for good causes ... and win.

David Parker

James - have come on early to

James - have come on early to tell folks that they ought to watch the Memorial Service from Tuscon. It may sound sappy, but I love this country and how we can come together in moments of crisis. Our President singing the National Anthem, a wonderful opening from a Native American, a studen talking about the coming together of a community, and an overarching belief that we can indeed listen to the better angels of our nature. This is America at her finest. I will be live at 9, but my wife and I will be watching this.

David Parker

Amen. The President has just

Amen. The President has just finished. I loved what he said and many more articulate than I will talk about it, but I was especially struck by his call for civility and for us to live up to the expectations of our children and to be as good as a child imagines us to be as a Nation.

David Parker

Organizing for America

David - you're a member of the DNC, I believe. So you should be able to tell us about OFA. This organization has been telling people in our county what doors to knock on, what phone numbers to call, etc. As far as I can tell, there is no bottom-up method of influencing them. And they appear to have a lot of control over the data that our volunteers enter - it is difficult to get it back for our own purposes. To me, this is a top-down, undemocratic organization. What is our party's relation to the OFA? What should it be?

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Starting this next one at

Starting this next one at 9:42. Will keep ansering tonight as long as there are questions.

I ahve been on the DNC since 1995 except for about a 6 month gap between being 1st Vice Chair of the Party under Libba Evans and then Barbara Allen. I stepped aside for Frank Ballance to be First Vice Chair because I felt that the First Vice Chair should not be of the same race as the Chair. About 6 months later I was elected to the DNC when my friend Jim Young of Pitt County resigned and we had a special election.

OFA is, to say the least, a special entity. It feels like a group of community based organizers which works to empower people and to elect a President who will bring out the best in us. And that is what it is at the gournd level. OFA, though, as an organziation, made a decision to keep "its" work product from 2008 "proprietary" and not release it to the Party. We seriously needed that data to organize our precincts in early 2009. We fell asleep at the switch during the 60 days after November of 2008 and failed to capture the data. DNC Members howled at OFA and were finally told in July of 2009 that we simply were not going to get the data.

In 2010, OFA unified its campaign with NC's Party and with Pennsylvania's to see how coordiantion would work. I have talked a couple of times with Lindsay SIler, the OFA director for NC, and with Greg Jackson as well, to being the discussions about the 2012 cycle.

Here is where we are in trying to remedy the issues from 2010 (and from 2008) concerning out "bottom up" issues:

1. Steve Mallinson of OFA who is the data/IT guru for NC's OFA tells me that the VoteBuilder data will be available for Precinct Chairs to use to call folks to meet-ups (as opposed to the usual quasi-real Precinct meetings that all too many Precincts have to fill out their rosters). We need to make sure that this happens. If you will look at my "First 30 Days Plan" on my website at under the MEDIA tab, you will see that plan in PDF format. I am now on version 6 of that plan, in part becuase I continue to get terrific ideas from folks (as an example, Tori Taylor of the College YD's - an organization that I was VP of way back in 1977 -- has had a wonderful idea about organizing HBC's -- I have contacted Everett Ward, our DNC Member who has also endorsed me and who sits on the St. Aug's Board about helping with that which he will do). In that 30 Days Plan there are grid slots where I want to aggressively go after Precinct Organization ASAP. But with 2/26 - 3/11 being the timeframe for Precinct Meetings, we will all have to hustle to make that happen. And it will take all of us.

2. OFA will have to train its volunteers to (a) include local (i.e. Council fo State, Legislative, County Commissioner, etc.) candidates in their calling and messaging and GOTV efforts, (b) hire locally wherever possible and trin non-local stafff about local issues, and (c) share their data with us on teh spot! Some savvy counties, such as Mecklenburg under Joel FOrd's leadership, got OFA to do more of that and with good results. In Wake, this fell down with the result that we did well on our COngressionals but horrible on County Commissioners. There was no reason for Jack Nichols to lose the precincs that Brad Miller carried. I avhe known both of them for some 25 years and they both should have won.

3. We need to be mindful of what our Party will look like in 30 Months -- one of the measures of how well we did in 2012 will be what kind of Party we have in July of 2013. OFA must be an apparatus for Party Building along with winning for Obama and all of our candidates in 2012. And I believe that all our candidates must run under the Obama Party banner. Some legislators did not even list their being a Democrat on their main webpages or in their memos to their constituents -- we have to all be proud of our Party for our Party to succeed.

Sorry this is taking so long -- these are simple questions but require a lot of discussion to address. If anyone ahs ideas about OFA that will work better than what I have proposed, I am certainly open to them. I have talked with our Southern DNC desk person about these issues (becuase I am Treasurer of the Southern DNC Caucus and can actually get him to call me back! -- Very good guy, by the way) and he concurs in this approach.

David Parker



What concrete ideas do you have to help people organize on the local level?


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I looked at your website to

I looked at your website to get a handle on where you were coming from. Sad comment about the rise in narcisism and the decline in empathy. Again, I think the President's sermon tonight addressed well the need for us to care for one another - empathy at its best. The issue of what drives a person to want to be Party Chair is something that addressed at another time!

Look, if you will, at the Roundtable ideas in the "First 30 Minutes" Plan at under the Media Tab. That one is in its 11th version, again because of the great ideas percolating up from all of you. I truly see the Party Chair in the "sxervant leader" mold as to all three vital Party building areas of (1) Members (organizing), (2) Money (we need to raise money in samll dollar amounts in addition to the fancy-dress $1,000/ticket events -- if a person gives $5, they will likely be involved) and (3) Message -- the Rapid Reponse work can be very effective.

I jsut got a call that my answers are not getting up quickly enough. I will shorten them and try to come back with longer answers. Folks are encouraged to call me at 704-437-6600 to discuss!

David Parker

Speed doesn't matter

I was concerned that you may have run into technical issues ... no worries. We'd all much rather have full discussion if at all possible. As an old friend once said, "Don't make a long story short."

You're doing just fine.


I agree with James. Answer from the heart as you always do. This is such an important time in our party that we need to get your passion through the keyboard. So type away old friend, we'll all be here reloading, and reloading, and reloading...

Reloading now,


Chris Church


Yikes. You and Sarah P. Gotta watch those metaphors these daze.




Allow me to joyfully respond: "Smartass!" Hope you're doing well....haven't actually seen you since last winter.

Chris Church

Heh :)

We peace-loving Liberals don't reload, we refresh...



What role does the Democratic Party, as an organization, have in influencing policy? Should we be lobbying for specific issues? Or should we concentrate on GOTV and supporting candidates and elected officials?

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OK - it's 10:13 and I will

OK - it's 10:13 and I will try to pcik up the pace and shroten the answers. I confess that I get revved up about our Party.

Our Party is like a three legged stool, The three legs are Members, Money and Message. But without the Platform (the seat part), there is nothing to hold the legs together and nothing for folks to believe in. We apss a platform. We also generate candidates from among our number to run for office. The Elected officials are a part of us -- they are not a "they" to control the Party -- they are part of us.

Consequently, our Platform should be a roadmap for our Elected officials -- our Message is shaped by our Platform. If we do not have firmly espoused belifs, then we will not get Swing voters to know that they are voting for ideals that will make a differnce in this State and Nation (and County!). Individually, we can certainly "lobby", but I am told by campaign finance experts that there are restrictions on us getting a lobbyist (we have looked into that -- the Ethics Reform laws place restrictions under crimnal law against members of the General Assembly soliciting or receiving money from PAC's with lobbists while the GA is in sesssion -- if we are limited in way from raising money during the GA, we will have issues -- taht is why the GA members are doing "pre-BBalck Out" fundraisers prior to 1/26 -- afterwards, they are essentially frozen -- the restriction applies to a GA Member's "agents or purported agents" as swell under NCGS 163-278.13B - we can ill afford to violate that law and will not when I am Chair if the SEC sees fit to elect me).

And yes - we should definitley concentrate on GOT and suppporting candidates -- but as one of the three legs of the stool, each of which ahs to be equally strong and of the same length to support our platform and our candidates that sit/run on that Platform.

David Parker

Bill Faison

The large postcard I got from you today says "It's because of progressive ethics and transparency reforms that a sitting legislator can't serve us in this capacity, and the NCDP can't simply hand any one legislator undue power over his Democratic colleagues during the coming redistricting fight."

Could you elaborate and explain to people like me who are not very familiar with the issues, just what might happen and how?

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This is not just a matter of

This is not just a matter of law -- it is a matter of hwo our Party choses to govern itself. Our candidates and Electeds come up from us -- some of them, though, have no Party experience but believe, some of them in good faith, that they have better answers. ALl too often, those answers involve having their consultants make all the decisions.

I support this Governor and will stand firmly with her on her work to preserve public education, stimulate this economy, protect individual dignity, preserve our planet, assure quality health care for our citizens, and (to the extent a Governor deals with this - except of course Sarah Palin!) promote peace. BUT, we are no longer simply a creature of the Governor -- and in this era taht is wholly appropriate.

That being said, we should not trade one central authority for another. I will put strong legislators forward -- I have made no bones about it: I will point out the GOP flaws (about as hard as finding bugs on the windshield on a summer's drive to beach!) and will introduce legislative, Council of State, County Commission, Sheriffs, and any other Democartic office holder or activist expert to talk about our Democratic vision for our State and our Country and specific programs and bills when we have them.

I do not need to be in the Legislature to know what the GOP is up to -- and I will not rely on GOP "friends" in the Legislature to give me the heads up. We all have lots of good friends that serve us in the House and in the Senate -- many of whom are suporting me -- I do not list them because only 6 or 7 of the GA members are on the SEC. Many of them are only too happy to help -- they believe in this Party and have been active Democrats for years and years. But the Ethics issues create problems for them as well:

Now, though, they find themselves in the awkward position of having to support or oppose a fellow member for Chair. We have had some good GA members as Chairs -- Herbert Hyde (under whose leadership I was Party Secretary in the early 1990's -- one of the finest men I have ever know -- and had the best humor -- now THAT was a trial lawyer!) and Russell Walker (who had to step aside when he had Primary opposition - that change was made when we made resignation mandatory under the Plan of Organziation if an officer had primary opposition -- see Plan of Organization section 10.03 at -- I Chaired the Plan COmmittee back in the 1980's). But both of thse Chaired the Party when the Governor made the selection and when we were had majorities in both the House and the Senate. Both of them, as well, ahsd long histories of Party activity at their precinct and COunty levels -- just like I have as a former Precinct Chair (my first precinct office was in Lincoln Precinct in Chapel Hill when I was a law student -- yes, I've been involved in this Party since I was 21 -- 35 years ago -- yikes!) and a former County Chair. When I met my wife in 1979, she was President of the NCSU College Dems and she has served as both a Precinct Chair and as a COunty Chair as well. We live this Party!

The Ethics and Campaign Reform legislation stricly limits GA Members ability to raise money during the session. The statute that I referenced before states that this applies to agents and purported agents and the law defines the restriction of not being able to raise money by a GA member to include poitical committees which specifically includes plitical parties. The chances of the GOP filing a complaint against our Party to stop fundraising pending hearing (whcih will take a while to conclude) are 100% -- and during that heraing period, no PAC or lobbyist will give to our Party. Anybody who has attended JJ's in the last 10 years knows that lobbyists and PAC's tend to buy tables which raises a lot of money for us -- that will be gone.

But Ethics is more than mere law -- it is a matter of what is right and wrong. If the Party Chair (1) appoints enough members of the Tax Check off Committee to over-rule the District Chairs (and if the Chair is going to ask the DIstrict Chairs' advice in making the appointments, why make them? -- the Plan cited above in section 4.05 limits the Chair to 2 appointments -- would such a Chair violate our Plan without getting 2/3 of the SEC to amend it under section 12.01???), (2) has control over the Legislative Caucus moneys (which are Democratic Party funds) so that targeting is in his discretion, (3) is going to personally "recruit" candidates for seats without incumbents (and fund them with Party funds presumably), (4) can, with the support of only 4 other Democrats prevent the House from sustaining the Governor's veto, and (5) would be the Plaintiff in the Democartic Party's redistricting litigation and could thus possibly influence the arguments to the Court about which districts are and are not properly drawn, then isn't that an awful lot of power? And how does that influence other Democratic legislators? And where does that leave a Governor or other Council of State Member fighting to preserve programs and budgets in a GOP controlled legislature when the Member/Chair asks for an endorsement?

Even a fully qualfied, Party-grounded Representative such as those that have been on our SEC for years would be a problem for the Party for all those same reasons.

We are bound together, as Party members, by the shared experience of working for other folks for public office -- sometimes for ourselves (I served on the School Board in my county and ran for County Commissioenr when we needed a full slate - soemthing I believe in strongly and will see that we fill every ballot slot in every county -- I am talking to Democartic Women and the other auxiliaries about taking the lead in that project - we can and will fill the ballots!), but mostly for other folks. Electeds are, and logically should be, concerned with their own races and frequently depend on "campaign professionals" to tell them what to do. Those "prfessionals", though very raerely ahve any Party background or understanding that we do more than just a current campaign -- we have a platform, we rasie money, we work for multiple candiates simultaneously -- this is way beyond the scope of what "campaign professionals" generally do -- I was an unusual Campaign Manager because I came out of the Party -- taht is part of why Terry asked me to do it - he was an old-school Democratic Party man and Governor.

Our State Executive Council and our Executive Committee can and will formulate our campaign plan -- we do not need a bunch of hired single-campaign "professionals" to tell us what we have to do -- that is one of the problems with OFA. I have been a "campaign provessional" and have hired them before (running Terry Sanford's campaign in 1992 -- he was a fantastic person with his heart in the right place. We will, of course, call on professionals for advise (but they will ahve to bid on services under RFP's that our Roundtables and Budget Committee will put together - and they the "pro's" do not particularly like that!), but this is our Party -- we have done well in the past and by tapping the considerable talent among us, we will do well again.

David Parker


Much to think through ... and in the spirit of the President's speech, I will do just that, instead of shooting from the hip as I often do.

It's going to take a flawless effort with a full court press at every level and on every front to counter the influence of the Pope machine. And on the candidate recruitment front, I fear we are already behind the eight ball.

Thanks for this thoughtful response to George's question. George is a friend and a bona fide frontline loyalist who does the hard work year after year. I'll be interested to see how he responds.

Thanks again for being here.


Amen, Brother. We have a

Amen, Brother. We have a cause that is just, but we will ahve to win it ourselves.

David Parker


David, you raise 5 key points that are very concerning.

Point 1 on the Tax Check Off Committee: What does any of that have to do with a legal or ethical dilemma related to someone being a legislator?

#2 has control over the Legislative Caucus moneys

That is not true now and has never been true. The Party has no control over the caucus funds. You of all people should know this. There is a reason those funds are not subject to the audit that the Executive Council was handed a few days ago.
I am shocked that after so many years in a position of power you have such little understanding over how the caucuses are run.

#3 is going to personally "recruit" candidates for seats without incumbents (and fund them with Party funds presumably)

Isn't candidate recruitment an explicit job of the party? If not shouldn't it be? Are you saying that if you are elected Chair that you will NOT recruit candidates and you will NOT support Democratic candidates you recruit with party funds?

4) can, with the support of only 4 other Democrats prevent the House from sustaining the Governor's veto,

Are you saying that we shouldn't support Bill Faison because he could maybe possibly help Republicans override a veto? Other than innuendo what gives you that impression? Name one single thing you will do to PROTECT the Governor's vetoes.

#5 would be the Plaintiff in the Democartic Party's redistricting litigation and could thus possibly influence the arguments to the Court about which districts are and are not properly drawn, then isn't that an awful lot of power?

And you would have that exact same power and influence if you are chair. Except of course that the power you describe won't really exist.

Those "prfessionals", though very raerely ahve any Party background or understanding that we do more than just a current campaign -- we have a platform, we rasie money, we work for multiple candiates simultaneously -- this is way beyond the scope of what "campaign professionals" generally do

As any one on here can attest to, I have worked countless hours for Democratic candidates. In your view, because I was paid for that work my 100 hour work weeks are meaningless and that experience is useless? I get that you ran a campaign once 20 years ago, but to so cavalierly dismiss the hard work of countless young people, most of whom are barely paid minimum wage when you divide their salary by the hours, for people they believe in is disturbing.

I have never been so certain that I was working for the right candidate as I was after reading this post. It took me a while to say what I wanted to after reading this post. I never expected to have my career insulted by someone seeking to be the chair of a party I have put so much sweat into. Thanks David for reaffirming my decision to work for Bill Faison.

"Keep the Faith"

The Legislature voted to

The Legislature voted to stack the Tax Checkoff Committee by adding enough Party Chair appointments to overrule the District Chairs. The Chairs are elected by the Districts and are a voice for Democrats, including elected officials, throughout the State. In the past, District Chairs have given the money to the Party fund to be spent. They acted responsibly in 2010 and will continue to do so. If they did not, their Districts may replace them in May of 2012.

The Caucus Funds are the North Carolina Democratic Party’s Funds – see . for the last report from NCDP Treasurer Muriel Offerman. The Caucus Funds are subject to the same laws as the Party funds precisely because they are Party funds. The Plan of Organization does not address the Caucuses and the Caucuses have not been subject to Audit for that reason. It is my belief that the Caucus Funds are raised by the Caucus to be spent by the Caucus.
The Legislative Caucus has worked hard to recruit candidates with some considerable success in many seats across the State. I would not seek to supplant that role, but would augment it wherever I could. I not steer funds based on anything other than a desire to elect Democrats and fill our ballots in every county.
The two Legislator Chairs that I served under were not restricted in fund-raising as the law currently provides and neither faced the mountain of being so badly defeated in the prior election.
I am dedicated to having our Party’s nominees look more like the Party. There are extraordinarily gifted, well qualified African Americans in our State who should look at running for any and all offices that are on the ballot in 2012 and not be limited to Commissioner of Labor.
The Party, though, has many, many candidates to elect. We will have legislative districts, for instance, where we may have virtually no chance to win, but should field candidates to make the GOP defend all of its seats. The hard, hard work that was done in 2008 to reduce the GOP margins in throbbingly red counties made as much difference in making up the 500,000 votes from 2004 as did the work in the bluest areas of the Triangle. Recruiting candidates in those red counties can make a lot of difference – and small amounts of money spent wisely there can do a great deal of good.
We should, as a Party, recruit better to fill out all ballots with Democrats. I have asked Democratic Women to take the lead on this effort and will form an Association of County Chairs to take responsibility for learning how to recruit effectively. I do not claim to have the wisdom or the desire to be a “king-maker” in all 100 counties – but I do have a desire for all 100 counties to have an effective strategy for campaigning, including recruitment. Recruitment can be supplemented by timely calls from former and current Governors and Senators, fundraisers, and key potential campaign workers – all of whom I know and will be open to learning about – including my inquisitor whose zeal and ardor for Democrats is well established.

I would sincerely hope that no Democratic legislator would hold a Governor hostage on vetoes. Legislators that have broken with Governors on issues as important as the Budget in the past, though, because of a disagreement on a provision (cigarette taxes being too high for example), demonstrate a willingness to break with the Governor on important votes. That may be laudable for a Legislator, but may pose a different set of issues for a Party Chair.

The dilemma is that the Chair of the Party is in position to influence elections, distributions of campaign funds, directing of staff efforts, and targeting of Legislative and other races. The “Strong Chair” model can work and has in the past, but the best Chairs in my 35 years of working in the Party have been those who came up through the Party as precinct and County activists, inspired folks to work themselves, and led by example and not merely by bluntness or brute force.

As for what an effective Chair could do to help the Governor: the Chair can use the position to daily go after the GOP in the legislature for what they are doing to harm our State and promote the good ideas of our Democratic elected officials and volunteers, highlighting the works and programs and ideas of Governor Perdue. My plan would be to do aggressive

Because I would not have to “deal” with Republicans in the House as a Legislator in order to fulfill my sworn duty to the folks that elected me to the House, I would be free to go after the GOP without compromising my duty to my constituents –Rep. Faison’s continuing support of the tobacco industry comes from due to the large number of tobacco farmers in his fairly rural district as an example. Again, Rep. Faison is clearly a man who sticks to his guns – to his credit. I applaud, for instance, his leading the fight to defeat the moratorium on rural and municipal internet service providers. Rural electric coops and towns can provide that service at competitive prices such as our little town of Mooresville has here in Iredell County.

We will win with an assertive campaign that shows the GOP flaws and shows the strengths of our core values and Platform. We can, by good work and steady rapid response to GOP flaws, help prevent absurd legislation from putting the Governor in a position to have to veto repeatedly.
Rep. Faison has said that he will be one of the attorneys for the Party in the redistricting litigation that will likely arise from the GOP’s drawing of lines for 2012. Good trial lawyers know that in a complex case, those parts that are not in controversy are rarely changed by the Court.
The discussion is not about Rep. Faison, though. It is about the model for leadership – can we fix our Party by working together or should we elect a Chair who with little Party background promises that he can do it with the advice of professionals. I think we can do it.
There are many campaign professionals who have impeccable Party credentials – there are many that do not. There are others who have had well paying contracts that should be subject to RFP’s and open bidding and review by a Budget Committee of the State Executive Council (which I will ask the Council to recommend and nominate for election by the Council).
Open bidding and guidelines are alarming to some “campaign professionals” and a comfort to others. North Carolina has many selfless “campaign professionals” who do good work and are Party volunteers for free as well. It sounds like you are one of those, and I applaud you and sincerely hope that you will bid on work to be done by the Party. And if you have the skills, experience, professionalism and competitive pricing to win the bid – you will win it.
When I managed the Sanford Campaign, I hired a lot of young people who worked tirelessly for a candidate they believed in. Most of them have continued to work sporadically for candidates and a few have gone on to positions in the White House and in the offices of high profile Elected Officials and I am proud to call them friends.
Very few of them, though, are “Party people” and do not do the type of planning for multi-candidate coordinated campaigns necessary to develop Party strategy in such a large and diverse State as this. I sincerely hope that you are one of the few “Party people” professionals – we could use your help if you are. And we could and will use the help of single-candidate experts as well, but not with sweetheart deals.

An independent Party deserves a Chair from the “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.” I will be that Chair.

David Parker


Point 1 - You didn't address this at all. I realize that the legislature changed the system. I also notice that you don't mention that this was done in the Senate, and the house had the choice of rejecting a bill with dozens of campaign finance fixes or passing the bill.

You also don't thank the legislature for upping the amount from $1 to $3. None of which addresses my question.

How does any of that raise an ethical or legal question?

Point 2 - I am glad you admit that I was correct that the chair has no say on caucus funding. I look forward to you also ending your fear mongering against my candidate on this topic.

Point 3 -

The Legislative Caucus has worked hard to recruit candidates with some considerable success in many seats across the State.

That is just wrong and a silly statement. I will buy you a steak dinner if you can find one person in this state (who doesnt work for the caucus) who thinks that the Caucuses have had success in candidate recruitment.

Again though, all you have done is agree with Bill that we need strong candidates in all counties. You have not addressed how him being a legislator presents a legal or ethical problem.

Point 4 - You are concerned that Bill will aid the Republicans and go against the Governor's veto because he voted against a budget (not written by her) that passed in his first term? Find me a legislator who has voted with the majority on 100% of all bills and I will find you a unicorn.

Point 5 - Bill is offering to use his legal experience as chair to aid the party. You would do the same. Jerry did this. I am sure other lawyers have. What is your point?

You are now up to two rants against campaign professionals. The first made me think you believed that I and everyone who worked in politics professionally were idiots. The second makes me wonder when you were last involved with a real campaign.

The difference between campaigns from 2002 to 2006 were huge. From 2006 to 2010 they have been massive. I understand that you worked on one campaign in 1992, but in technology alone the differences are huge.

Anyway, if you have a problem with certain consultants name names. Denigrating an entire group of hardworking people because you think one consultant that the party uses is corrupt is not the behavior I expect from a chair.

"Keep the Faith"

My questions from the other thread:

1) Do you agree that the gap between the Party's Platform and the behavior of elected Democrats is wide?

2) If you agree, would you be willing to demand that Democratic Party candidates for (government) office answer a yes/no checklist on Platform positions, to be published for all to see, preferably before the deadline for candidate registration (In case somebody wants to Primary them)?

It appears to me that most of

It appears to me that most of our Electeds (with some glaring exceptions on certain issues) are pretty much in accord with our Platform (which is on the Party's website at It is on particualr issues (such as Health Care) where we have some definite "meandering".

The Party Chair is charged with supporting and being a spokesman for the Party and, by implication, its Platform (see the Plan 4.05(9), (19) and (20)). A Legislator that defies the Platform should be "reminded" of their wandering ways and encouraged to come back into the fold (of course, if the Legislator happens to be the Chair, that may not happen!). Such espousal includes reminding meanderers of their back-sliding ways when appropriate.

If you will look at my Plans at under the Media tab, you will see that I want several Roundtables who are focussed on opposition and issues research -- we should monitor every vote by every GOP legislator to show just how they are voting contrary to the best interests of North Carolinians. In fact, the agenda for each break-out session includes a Message component for that very reason. The Roundtables shoudl be a place of orgin for issues, planks and resolutions. Those Democratic legislators who vote with their GOP friends and have close relationships with them should not be surprised to see monitoring going on by the same Roundtables.

That being said, please bear in mind that a meandering Democratic Legislator or Congress Member will generally vote for the Party leadership (although there have been some major exceptions in the past -- and could be in the future -- let's hope not!!) that appoints the Committee Chairs who in turn determine what legislation gets to the floor, etc. Even a meanderer has great value in times of important leadership votes! And, for me at least, I'll take the meanderingest Democrat over a Republican any day of the week - and twice on Sundays.

David Parker

From left field

I receive the most discouraging and sad emails from anonymous readers from time to time ... and am helpless to do anything about them except pass them on to the broader community. This one breaks my heart:

Please help our state employees get from under corrupt officials. When legal documents are getting lost and not filed as the say something just ain't right. When you're asked to falsify document things just ain't right. When staff hurt each other and head officials hide things ain't right . We need some one in office that can stand up for equal rights for the working man-woman.

Any thoughts on this? What do you say to individuals caught in this kind of crossfire?

Every one feels sorry

I know every one feels sorry but what is a person to do? Am one of many at Maury correctional Institution. We, well they need help. I was forced out because I reported it.

Never give Up

Whistle blowers are

Whistle blowers are critically important to "government by the people, for the people and of the people." Power, unfortuatnely, tends to corrupt even the most pure of heart (think about David in the Bible), although they can repent and do from time to time.

Time was a State employee could go to their Party folks and ask for relief in such cases and relief was sometimes forthcoming. I avhe ahd folks come to me and ask for help - and I have tried to do what I could. That takes trust, diligence and strong relationships. And it takes a strong, independent Party that is not beholden to Elected officials or large contributors to do so.

That being said, we have a long ways to go in our internal reform of our Party before that can happen. For me personally, I have spent a lot of my law practice reprsetning folks agaisnt bullies of all sorts. I take cases because folks need an advocate,a nd nto necessarily because I can make a lot of money off of that advocacy. I represent workers in Workers' Comp cases, 80% women in my domestic work, and people whose land has been taken by their government in condemnation cases. That work has involved representing little guys against powerful interests such as insurance companies, domineering men, and cavalier government officials. I could have made more money doing high profile medical malpractice or mass tort cases, but that was not my calling -- I was called to represent little folks. It has been a joy and I have had successful results in some 95% of the over 4,000 trials (yes, 4,000 -- I started off as a prosecutor in District Court) that I have tried -- I have no fear of asking for money or relief for my clients and I will have no fear asking for money for this Party.

Your writer should ahve no fear to contact his Party and ask for relief - particularly in a whistle-blower context. If there is one thing I despise most heartily, it is a cover-up. Richard Nixon was not impeached for the Watergate Breakin, he was impeached for the cover-up -- and deservedly so.

David Parker

How does this work

James, How about a brief on process for those of new to live blogging.
Steve Ivester


I forget there are new folks coming in and out.

The approach is simple: We ask new questions, follow up questions, and make comments ... while David responds to those he chooses. In my experience, there is much to be learned both from the nature of the responses and the choices of questions to which responses are offered.

Some people couldn't be here live, so they've dropped in questions from other threads.

Does all this make sense? Sorry for not thinking ahead to 'splain the drill.

Still working here, Chief -

Still working here, Chief - as promised at 11:56 PM. Folks can read the responses later. I would invite poeple to join in on my scheduled 1/20 video conference call at 7:30. This is going to be a "trial run" of what I think will be a terrific Messaging and Communications tool for our Party. I can talk a lot faster than I can write - and you won't see the typos!

David Parker

Prioritizing Locally

It is my understanding that you support re-installing the Western North Carolina Task Force. And as happy as that makes me, let me give an example of why Raleigh or Washington or West Coast media firms can not effectively assist NC Candidates. Fmr. Rep. Cullie Tarleton (Watauga and Ashe Counties) along with the NCDP spent over $142,000 on direct mail (Over $500,000 in total expenditures)- There are only 61,399 registered voters in his district. These mailers focused on issues that were either directly attacking his opponent or issues that have little to do with NW North Carolina.

What will you do as Chair to make sure that the caucus' are working with local professionals who understand the local issues that affect these districts and how to communicate effectively with our NC voters.

How can you as Chair better prepare the local parties to focus on races that are winnable so that we are not wasting time and resources in races that are not attainable.

Chris Church

NCDP and other party public events

Would you challenge Rep. Heath Shuler to not show up at NCDP events (state, district, county, local) packing heat?

(I live in Haywood County, and am currently a precinct chair).


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

I would recommend standing

I would recommend standing behind Heath Shuler if he is "packing heat" and speaking softly.

Maybe even well behind.

I had the pleasure of singing at a Haywood County Party event (and playing some guitar as well) and met Rep Shuler for the first time. With hands as big as his, I do not know if he needs a gun.

David Parker

Well Said...

I just hope Heath has better aim with a Glock than he had with a football..

Thanks for all your thoughtful and thought-provoking responses last night (and well into this morning!)

Kevin Brock


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Obama at 11

I understood that the Presidents comments would be rebroadcast on UNCTV at 11pm tonight. I plan to watch them then. No TV next to this comupter

You'll be able to find the speech

in a hundred places on the tubes ... or maybe a hundred is an exaggeration. At least one for sure.


Worth watching

I haven't been in the mood for speeches since (even before) the election. But the President has a way of reaching into your heart and fixing the damage that is hard to describe. You gotta hear it to feel it.

Yes. His inspiration was a

Yes. His inspiration was a large reason for my supporting him in 2008. He told me that he would be back to campaign in NC and I felt strongly that if he did, we could carry the State for him and for Kay Hagan and Bev Perdue. When he said "Yes, We Can" I believed him -- and do today!

David Parker

Understanding "All politics is still local."

As you know, I have already endorsed you because I think you have the vision, energy, skill, and ideas to make our party successful. I took the Blue Crew Training; I gathered a lot of commitment cards, knoked on a lot of doors, etc which I know thousands of us did.I thought C Jane Johnson and some of the other field directors did an amazing job. What I thought was missing in this campaign was a recognition by the OFA folks of how politics works at the local level in NC and how to devise a strategy for each area. What is your sense of how we can improve this and what will you do to make it happen?



I agree with 100% of this comment!

Chris Church

hey Chris

Chris aren't you working for David?

Not that that invalidates your opinion - I too like to work for folks/causes I believe in.



No, I'm not working for any candidate in this race. I am a long time friend of David's and will advocate for him. But my question is one that I have not had the opportunity to discuss with him.

Thanks for your concern and I hope you're doing well.


Chris Church

Thanks, Cliff! This was a

Thanks, Cliff! This was a nice message to get to at 12:16AM! C Jane and quite a few other OFA folks were fantastic (of course, C Jane was Party, too).

I ahve addressed the OFA questions in a previous post. In a nutshell, we need to get OFA to (1) help down-ballot, (2) hire lcoally and train on local politics, (3) provide us with on-going data that we give local folks access to to Party build, and (4) think about what we want our Party to be like six months after they have finished the 2012 campaign.

Thanks for your support and endorsement. I am over 70 endorsers right now which anyone can take a look at on my website's endorser tab at

David Parker

Promoting SEC Resolutions

We have voted in the SEC recently that the resolutions passed by the SEC are to promoted and advocated in the press and to our legislators. I don't have a sense that this is being done, at least not aggressively. Can you comment?


Cliff - I inadvertently

Cliff - I inadvertently skipped this one before. I agree with you -- our Rapid Rsponse effort would do this if we can get all our Counties participating. Covered in my Plans on the website at

David Parker


Anybody there?